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Next-day runoffs

Su Lum

The thing about these runoff elections is that they’re too damned l-o-n-g. We’ve gone from winter to spring to summer with the current election process and there is still another week to go. The candidates are whipped and the voters are yawning.Helen Klanderud’s runoff with Rachel Richards was like that, too – it seemed as if they were running against each other for decades.What I think we should do is reduce the margin council candidates have to win by, and hold the runoff election the next day while everyone’s heat is up.This way, the candidates can avoid financing two elections and won’t have to suffer through another Squirm Night with the reporters having run out of meaningful questions in the first go-round. Readers won’t have to wade through another month of letters to the editor and I (this is the best part) won’t have to write any more endorsements.There are probably some pesky regulations about running legal notices and sample ballots in the paper, but hey – we’re a home rule kind of town. We made up our own runoff rules in the first place and we can make new ones. New rule: the runoff election will be the next day, so be prepared. We will get used to it, will come to anticipate it, make it part of our plans.My granddaughter Riley could whip out a ballot with Jack Johnson’s and Dee Malone’s names and ovals next to them in five minutes on her computer. Say a half-hour to run off a couple of reams of ballots on the Xerox. Leave all the “vote here” signs up at the different voting places frequented the day before, give each a stack of ballots and there you are, ready to go at 7 a.m. the next morning.Our voting machines may not be sophisticated enough to adapt that quickly, so just count them the old fashioned way. Make a Jack pile and a Dee pile and unless we have one helluva turnout the results should be in to GrassRoots by 9 p.m. – over and out.I’m sure I’m being optimistic about a system whose gears grind slowly, so OK, make it a WEEK. But not another MONTH, we don’t have that kind of attention span. In case you have forgotten, the runoff election is next Tuesday, June 7. It is for the final City Council seat, a four-year term that is very critical, so please haul yourselves over to the polls one more time.I strongly endorse Jack Johnson for this council position. He is very intelligent, does all his homework with extra diligence, has had his share of governmental experience after four years on the Planning and Zoning board, is thoughtful, reasonable, accessible and totally adores Aspen, its past, present and future.And he has a great sense of humor.Vote. Vote for Jack.Su Lum is a longtime local who will be glad when this eternal election is over. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.


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